Inventive materials: self-assembled nanostructures
The ability of structures to self-assemble could change how we think about manufacturing
If nature can be persuaded to build structures, manufacturing becomes much easier. Fortunately, self-assembly is widespread in nature (think of crystal growth or blood clotting).
Many very clever routes are taking advantage of self-assembly. This includes use of chemical monomers that naturally polymerise, creating a polymer mesh with properties that be modiﬁed by tweaking the original monomer.Lead image:
David Gregory and Debbie Marshall/Wellcome Images CC BY NC ND